May 24, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:15-cv-03733 -
Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, Judge.
WOOD, Chief Judge, and Easterbrook and Kanne, Circuit Judges.
September 7, 2012, two Chicago Police Department
("CPD") officers, Defendants Billy Gonzalez and
Christian Ramirez, pulled over a car driven by Plaintiff Mark
Rosado for failing to use a turn signal. After stopping the
car, the officers "claimed to have seen" a badge
and handcuffs, as well as a handgun in plain view
"between the brake lever and center console." The
officers arrested Rosado for unlawful possession of a weapon
by a felon and for violating the armed habitual criminal
statute. Defendant Officer Robert Kero approved the
officers' report as establishing probable cause. Rosado
was bound over for trial on September 8, 2012, after a
probable cause hearing.
spent the next year and a half in jail fighting the criminal
charges. In February 2014, Rosado received a copy of the dash
cam video taken the evening he was arrested, which, contrary
to the officers' accounts, showed that Rosado had used
his turn signal, and it was operable. The state court,
relying on the video, found that the officers could not have
seen the traffic infraction. Accordingly, it granted
Rosado's motion to quash his arrest and suppress
evidence. In light of the grant of the motion, the state
dismissed the case nolle prosequi on April 14, 2014.
filed this § 1983 lawsuit against Defendants on April
28, 2015, alleging false arrest, conspiracy to violate
constitutional rights, failure to intervene, violation of due
process, and a state-law respondeat superior
filed a motion to dismiss Rosado's false-arrest claim as
barred by the two-year statute of limitations. The district
court granted the motion to dismiss because Rosado's
claim accrued when he was bound over for trial on September
8, 2012, and he did not file his complaint until April 28,
2015 -outside the two-year statute of limitations. Because
his claims of conspiracy and failure to intervene arose from
the underlying false-arrest claim, those were also dismissed.
The district court dismissed Rosado's due-process and
respondeat-superior claims on the merits.
appeal, Rosado only challenges the district court's
dismissal of three of his claims-false arrest, conspiracy,
and failure to intervene-as time-barred.
district court's dismissal on statute-of-limitations
grounds constitutes a dismissal for failure to state a claim
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) if the
claim is "indisputably time-barred." Small v.
Chao, 398 F.3d 894, 898 (7th Cir. 2005). We therefore
review the district court's dismissal of Rosado's
claims de novo, taking the factual allegations from
Rosado's complaint as true and drawing all reasonable
inferences in his favor. Vesely v. Armslist LLC, 762
F.3d 661, 664-65 (7th Cir. 2014).
statute of limitations on Rosado's claims is governed by
Illinois's personal-injury statute of limitations, which
is two years. 735 ILCS 5/13-202; Wallace v. Kato,
549 U.S. 384, 387 (2007). The statute of limitations for a
false-arrest claim "begins to run at the time the
claimant becomes detained pursuant to legal process, "
meaning when the claimant is "bound over for
trial." Wallace, 549 U.S. at 391, 397.
was bound over for trial on September 8, 2012. He concedes
that his two-year statute of limitations began to run at that
point and therefore expired on September 8, 2014. Because he
did not file his claim until April 28, 2015, he was out of
time. But, Rosado attempts to salvage his time-barred claim
by arguing that he is entitled to equitable estoppel or
cannot satisfy the requirements for application of equitable
estoppel. Equitable estoppel, which is a doctrine of federal
law, "comes into play if the defendant takes active
steps to prevent the plaintiff from suing in time, as by
promising not to plead the statute of limitations."
Shropshear v. Corp. Counsel of Chicago, 275 F.3d
593, 595 (7th Cir. 2001). Equitable estoppel presupposes
"efforts by the defendant, above and beyond the
wrongdoing upon which ...